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Flywire buys Uni-Pay to capture 13% market share

US-based global payment solutions provider Flywire has acquired UK-based competitor Uni-Pay in a move the company says means its client base now accounts for 13% of the global international student market.

Flywire's head office in Boston.

The Uni-Pay acquisition brings Flywire’s portfolio of UK education institutions to more than 120, making it the market leader in the UK sector

The company, formerly named peerTransfer, now serves some 603,000 of the 4.5m international students who study abroad worldwide each year.

“The size and scale of Flywire brings some clear benefits such as the removal of the Uni-Pay transaction fee for students and a best rate guarantee on foreign exchange”

The addition of Uni-Pay’s 60 institutional clients brings Flywire’s portfolio of UK education institutions to more than 120, making it the market leader in the UK sector. It will now process tuition and accommodation fee payments for more than 800 education institutions worldwide.

Simon Read, Director at Uni-Pay, will stay on as part of the Flywire team and will be taking the role of Sales Director for EMEA with responsibility for driving growth across the EMEA region.

Uni-Pay will adopt the Flywire branding and its clients will transfer from the current Uni-Pay platform to the Flywire platform over the coming months.

This is the latest step in Flywire’s global expansion strategy, which includes raising $22m in venture capital earlier this year, led by Bain Capital Ventures. Last month it changed its name from peerTransfer and announced a move into China.

“The size and scale of Flywire brings some instant and clear benefits to our customers,” said Read, “such as the removal of the Uni-Pay transaction fee for students, a best rate guarantee on foreign exchange and a whole raft of additional payment options in countries such as Brazil, China, Nigeria and South Korea.”

He added that while both companies were very similar, Flywire had raised venture capital funding whereas Uni-Pay had remained privately owned, which meant the former could offer better financial leverage to achieve its ambition.

“The level of investment and resource available within the Flywire organisation really do provide the capacity to deliver on an ambition to be the payment provider of choice to both students and educators across the whole of the global market for international education,” stated Read.

Flywire has also this week announced that it will now offer the same overseas money transfer service for medical institutions as it does in the education sector.

“The payment challenges faced by hospitals and their international patients are similar to those faced by educational institutions and their international students,” noted Mike Massaro, Flywire CEO.


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